Posted By (lapsed member) |  last update 28-Jun 2010

Hi. I'm trying to use Access 2003 to set up a database for ICU as it's freely available on the PC's in hospital. Looks like I'll be learning some VBA.

4 comment(s)

Posted by Robin Freeman on 07-Jul 2010 14:07

Access is an excellent application. It has an underlying SQL consuming database engine but predominating are a plethora of tools for designing the database structure, forms for populating it, queries for querying it, and report designers (including VBA) for presenting the results of the queries, etc. All this can make you take your eye off the key point which is the design of the tables. This design should match the dataset you wish to capture by a sensible use of relationhips between the data. At a minimum this means look up table(s) with a one to one relationship with the main table. For ICU data one might imagine data relating to the patient episode also having a one to many relationship with ? a daily assessment. You would need to share the datatset in order for folks to discuss this.

Posted by apmadden on 07-Jul 2010 14:07

What do you want to use the database for? It's important to decide in some detail what you want out before you begin to consider what to put in. Is the www available on your PCs? You might want to use a web based system.

Posted by Grant Forrest on 07-Jul 2010 15:07

I wouldn't disagree that MS Access is a reasonable tool if you're just making a flat-file DB or a relational DB for personal use. In a networked environment, or a client-server setup, Access may not be the best choice. Deploying your DB app as a web app is very simple and I would recommend you look at PHP/MySQL ahead of Python. PHP is by far the most widely-used server-side scripting language on the web and it integrates seamlessly with MySQL ( You can download a nicely packaged windows version of all these tools for free from Your NHS employers may already use it somewhere - best to ask.

Posted by nigel bedayse on 16-Jul 2010 20:07

Thanks.Will take a look at the PHP/MySQL. The database will be simple but there would be a one to many relationship with the daily assessment. In order to keep it simple we were aiming to overwrite data when updating so that the maximum number of patient records would be the same as the number of ICU beds. To avoid having to add much security we avoided including patient names. Users would log onto the PC in ICU as they usually would and not require an additional password for this service. Does anyone think this may be insufficient? We were also thinking of having an administrator priviledge so that the database structure could only altered by someone authorized to do so.

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